Today’s amazing elopement is brought to you by Van Middleton Photography and took place at Lord Howe Island in New South Wales.
For years, I have thought that Lord Howe Island would be the most amazing location for an elopement. It is a tropical paradise with volcanic mountain peaks, rainforests and white sandy beaches located right here in Australia. I have seen some wedding photos taken at Lord Howe Island, but none of the photos that I saw really did justice to the location or the scenery… that is until I saw Van Middleton’s photos! After seeing just one photo, I knew that this amazing location had to be showcased in more depth!!
Lord Howe Island is a beautiful small island located in NSW in the Tasman Sea. It lies 586kms directly east from Port Macquarie and it takes just under 2 hours to fly there from Sydney. It’s a World Heritage-listed natural wonder of Australia and also a State Marine Park. It has a population of just 350 people and only 400 visitors are permitted on the island at one time. And it features some of the most stunning natural scenery anywhere in the world. The main feature of the island that blew me away was the dramatic landscape. This is because Lord Howe Island is the remains of an extinct volcano that dates back over seven million years. It has been eroded over time and is now only one-fortieth of its original size.
This dramatic and beautiful landscape is the perfect setting for an elopement. So here is Elise & Ben’s Lord Howe Island elopement.
Pre Wedding Lord Howe Island Photography
Elise & Ben met their elopement photographer the day before the big day for a prewedding shoot at Neds Beach. This shoot happened in the water and the results are pretty spectacular. Swimming around hundreds of feeding fish in crystal clear waters is an awesome way to start off your elopement.
Ned’s Beach is a sanctuary zone and a location where you can actually get in the water and hand-feed fish. For a dollar coin, you can get fish pellets from Ned’s Shed and feed the fish in a designated fish feeding area.
Lord Howe Island Elopement Location
Elise & Ben stayed at Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island and this is where they both got ready on their wedding day. Capella Lodge is luxurious accommodation at one of the best locations on Lord Howe Island.
It is located on the southern part of the Island, in a more secluded area. It is nestled into the hillside and provides some of the best views out over Mt Gower and the ocean. For Elise & Ben, this was the perfect location to base their elopement around. They got ready there and they had a lovely wedding dinner there as well.
First Look at Lord Howe Island
If you aren’t familiar with the concept, a ‘first look’ is where a couple sees each other for the first time fully dressed up in all their wedding attire. This is normally a good idea for elopements where you both need to travel to the ceremony together. And a ‘first look’ is exactly what Elise & Ben did.
They did a ‘first look’ just outside their lodge and their reactions were just beautiful. Then they walked to the ceremony location together.
Lord Howe Island Wedding Ceremony
For wedding ceremonies, Lord Howe Island has so many beautiful options to choose from. Just about every part of the island has a view and location that would work perfectly for an intimate ceremony.
For Elise & Ben, they chose the location because it was right near their accommodation, Capella Lodge.
“We chose it for the beautiful view and that it was so close to their lodging (a safe bet with the dodgy weather we were having!).” – Van Middleton
If I were planning an elopement there, I would talk to your photographer, celebrant, and venue and get their recommendations. And even talk to some of the locals when you get there. Don’t underestimate local knowledge. But I would also explore the island myself and see the locations in person.
Two Pine Trees, Old Settlement Beach, The Jetty and even Kim’s Lookout & Malabar Kims look like some other great options for a beautiful elopement ceremony on Lord Howe Island.
Lord Howe Island Wedding Photos
Lord Howe Island is a photographer’s paradise. This whole island is absolutely stunning for wedding photos and photography. The main thing that will limit you is the time you have.
Elise & Ben explored the island with their photographer and they got some of the most amazing photos. They even did a pre-wedding and post-wedding day shoot so they could get more photos. This is something I highly recommend that couples consider when eloping. Doing multi-day shoots allows you to capture more images of your location and your elopement story.
Elopement Advice for Lord Howe Island
If you are thinking of planning a Lord Howe Island elopement, I really think that some of the best advice you can get is from the people that have actually done it before. We asked wedding & elopement photographer, Van Middleton, if he had any advice or tips for couples who were thinking of doing a Lord Howe Island elopement or small wedding. And this is what he had to say…
“Firstly, it’s amazing! Absolutely stunning scenery, one of the most unique and stunning locations in the world. Also a lot of options for the adventurous – photos in the ocean, up on the wild mountaintops etc etc!”
“A small pool of suppliers is perhaps an issue. Couples may want to consider flying in some vendors.”
“Accommodation can be expensive at the better resorts.”
“Probably the biggest potential issue is the cap on visitors. This will require forward planning! It might not be possible to have a big wedding. Also, flights in are notorious for cancellations due to weather issues. Because of the short runway, if the wind is too strong flights can’t come and go. Which can be stressful!!” – Van Middleton
Lord Howe Island is one of those destinations in Australia that is just perfect for small weddings and elopements. Due to its size, location, accessibility and amount of visitors allowed at one time, it is probably not that suitable for big weddings. And that is fine with me. I think it is perfect for elopements. Small, intimate elopements are so low impact on the environment that it is perfect for Lord Howe Island.
It is also worth noting that the island only allows 400 visitors at a time. There are regular visitors to the island and it books out very quickly. So if you are thinking of planning a small wedding here, this is worth keeping in mind.
Here is the list of elopement vendors involved in this Lord Howe Island elopement:
Location: Lord Howe Island
Photographer: Van Middleton Photography
Accommodation & Dinner: Capella Lodge
Celebrant: Darcelle from Little Speck of Blue
Hair Stylist: Kim from Howe About Hair
Makeup Artist: Jo